Blog: Rolling Brexit extensions prolong uncertainty 06 September 2021 Free – Irish Farmers Journal

Irish farmers and factory exporters will welcome the further deferral of border controls that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says he expects the UK to announce this week.

It will coincide with a further delay in implementing the full controls that are set out in the protocol for goods going into Northern Ireland from Britain as well.

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic travelling to Northern Ireland at the end of this week in a visible demonstration that talks on a more permanent solution are intensifying.

Industry sources in Northern Ireland have told the Irish Farmers Journal that serious engagement has been under way at official level to bring forward proposals that can be developed into what are considered workable solutions.

Formula

Foremost among these is the need to find a formula that enables supply lines to Northern Ireland supermarkets to be maintained.

These have a huge variety of fairly small items for which a full veterinary certificate simply isn’t practical.

If as expected the UK defers the introduction of certification due to come into effect in October with checks to follow in January, farmers and exporters will be relieved.

This will be the third time the date for introduction has been put back, but unless an alternative can be found, it is a threat that will continue to hand over Irish food exports to Britain.

Rules of origin

The UK government also revealed last week that it has no intention of tightening the definition of what qualifies as goods originating in Northern Ireland.

This means that goods leaving Northern Ireland will have completely unhindered access to the rest of the UK and, with no border controls on the island of Ireland, it could well become a transit route avoiding bureaucracy at other major Irish Sea ports in Britain when full controls are introduced.

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